GERB Asks Constitutional Court if Istanbul Convention is Consistent with Constitution
Sofia, February 8 (BTA) - GERB has asked the Constitutional Court to determine whether the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (known as the Istanbul Convention) is consistent with the Constitution, Danail Kirilov, Chairman of the parliamentary Legal Affairs Committee, told reporters.
Kirilov said that if the Constitutional Court found the Convention consistent with the Constitution, it would be ratifiable. The other option is that the Court may conclude the Convention contravenes the main principles of the Basic Law.
The petition to the Constitutional Court was signed by 75 MPs of GERB. It was filed along with the bill of ratification, eight reports written in the last eight years which analyse and assess the possibility to apply the Convention in Bulgarian law, and opinions for and against the document submitted to the National Assembly.
Kirilov said opinion in Parliament was divided, and if the political forces stuck to their positions, the votes in favour and against might be split almost evenly.
While GERB and the Movement for Rights and Freedoms are in favour of ratifying the document, the United Patriots (GERB's coalition partner), the opposition Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) and the Volya Party are against. The BSP proposed that the people should be asked in a referendum "Do you oppose the ratification by the Bulgarian Parliament of the so-called Istanbul Convention of May 11, 2011?".
In a late January survey, Barometer Bulgaria found that over 60 per cent of respondents were against ratification.